Japanese PM Fumio Kishida Takes LDP Defeat in 3 By-elections Seriously; Denies Intention to Dissolve Lower House for Snap Election

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is seen at a press conference at the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he took the defeat of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Sunday’s three House of Representatives by-elections seriously. They included two losses in constituencies where the party did not field any candidates.

At the same time, he denied any intention to dissolve the lower house for a snap election.

Speaking to reporters at the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday, Kishida said of the defeat, “I sincerely take it seriously.”

Kishida, who is also the president of the LDP, said that the party’s political funds scandal heavily contributed to the defeat in Shimane Constituency No.1. The electoral district was the sole head-on battle between the ruling and opposition party candidates in the three by-elections. He apologized for the defeat in the constituency, saying, “I’m sorry for the candidate and his supporters.”

Regarding the responsibility of the prime minister and the party leadership over the by-election results, Kishida only said, “I will make efforts to regain the public’s trust by producing tangible results over issues such as party reform, political reform and measures to deal with wages and prices, one by one.”

Kishida added: “I have to focus on dealing with issues and achieving results. I have no intention [of dissolving the lower house for a snap election].”